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“People Live on Hope When There’s Limited Freedom”: DP Gonzalo Amat on The Man in the High Castle and SEAL Team

Two of the most elegantly directed and photographed shows on television and streaming right now—and two of the most disparate in terms of their visual style and tone—share a common filmmaker, cinematographer and director Gonzalo Amat. I first became aware of Amat’s work as director of photography on The Man in the High Castle, Amazon’s bold and nerve-shredding adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi novel that imagines an alternate America ruled by Japanese and German powers following a US loss in World War II. In its fourth and final season, The Man in the High Castle jumps between multiple realities […]

“All of our Frames Match Exactly on Every Pass”: DP Stefan Duscio on The Invisible Man, the Alexa Mini LF and Compositing Uninterrupted Shots

The newest incarnation of The Invisible Man is not a scientist driven mad by his own discovery but a tech billionaire, Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), whose newest creation—an “invisibility suit”—allows him to silently terrorize his ex, Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss). When Adrian’s lair is revealed along with the suit’s resting place, production folks are in for a knowing chuckle—holding the suit up are a set of Mafers and Israeli arms. For the uninitiated, the former is a clamp frequently used by the grip department and the latter is an adjustable arm for attaching onboard monitors to cameras. It’s a sly bit of low-budget inventiveness […]

Day for Night for Day for Night: DP Christopher Blauvelt on First Cow

Kelly Reichardt describes her films as being “open.” She does not necessarily mean they are open to your interpretation. She means they are open or not to your engagement. First Cow co-star Orion Lee compared it to public speaking: If you yell at your audience they have no choice but to listen; if you project your voice midway to them they do, which is possibly more effective.  In First Cow, Reichardt relays, delicately, the antics of a clumsy cook, Cookie Figowitz (John Magaro), and his friend King Lu (Lee). Cookie finds Lu squat-naked in brush eluding vengeance from a gang […]

“The Directors I Work With Prefer a Natural Approach”: DP Diego García at Rotterdam 2020

Because of the nature of the business, a cinematographer often has a more eclectic body of work than an actor or a director, and it is not unusual to see their work span continents. Even by these standards, however, Diego García’s filmography is quite impressive: His last four credits are Carlos Reygadas’s Our Time, Gabriel Mascaro’s Divine Love, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Too Old to Die Young, and Yorgos Lanthimos’s short film Nimic—four films produced in four different countries by directors with four different mother tongues. It isn’t surprising, then, to hear that García is particularly attentive to a director’s body of […]

“If 1.33 is Confining, This Will Really Give You What You’re After”: DP Jarin Blaschke on The Lighthouse

Cut off from civilization, two lighthouse keepers fight the elements and themselves in The Lighthouse, a period drama directed by Robert Eggers and written by Eggers and his brother Max. Starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, the film premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Cinematographer Jarin Blaschke shot Eggers’s previous feature, The Witch (2015), as well as the Eggers shorts The Tell-Tale Heart (2008) and Brothers (2015). The Lighthouse was filmed in Nova Scotia in black-and-white and a 1:1.19 aspect ratio. It screened in the Debut Cinematographers series at Camerimage, the International Film Festival […]